What do you need to start making videos

Whatever film style you want to make, vlog, music video, wedding, documentary, or just a family video, the gear you need to get started is pretty much the same. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to start shooting, even an entry level camera will do a pretty good job, you just need the right gear and some skills. Also as part of making videos you might need to learn about editing, even though is not the most critical part of film making you still need to process what you record, making an amateur video is not different from producing a professional film, you still need to go through a series of tasks to make your video looks good.

These are the gears and software, I think you absolutely need in order to start making videos and I will order them by priority, it means that you don’t need to buy them all at the same time, you just need a camera to start with and slowly as your passion and skill grows you add more tools to make even better content.

Starter Kit

Digital camera

Of course you need a camera, this is all you need to start. I recommend a camera with interchangeable lenses and flip screen, it doesn't matter if DSLR or Mirrorless.
Camera's body become old fast with release of new sensors every year, instead lenses maintain quality with time and you can keep using them with other camera's bodies as well.
Regarding the flipping screen is a must have for vlogging and also allows you keep the camera at different angles and still be able to look in the rear LCD.
Learn, practice and repeat, study your camera as much as you can, learn about exposure, shutter speed and ISO and just make videos.

Lens

Of course you need a lens as well, I suggest a zoom lens, usually the kit lens is perfect, the quality is not really a concern at this time, the good thing about zoom lens is that you have a wide range of focal lengths to play with, that means more time shooting and less time changing lenses, also changing focal length change the scene drastically so have fun with it.

Editing program

They all do the same things at the base, but I suggest to choose one and keep using it for as long as you can, at long term, once you master the tools, the time it takes to process your videos will become shorter and the quality much better.
Lightworks is a professional tool that provide a free version for personal use, is a well made application almost bug free, if you want to invest some money than I would recommend Adobe Premiere Pro CC, it includes a media encoder tool for exporting videos and it is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, that include other video tools but is quite expensive and not bug free at all.

Neutral density filter (ND filter)

A filter to slow down the shutter speed when you have too much light coming through you lens, when making videos usually you want the shutter speed always at one over double the frame rate you are shooting at, so if you shot at 24 frames per second than your shutter speed should be set at 1/50 but in order to keep this speed you need to reduce the light coming into the lens or you video will be overexposed.
I recommend to buy a good quality filter beforehand, don't try to save money or the image quality can be affected, also is better to buy the bigger one, usually 82mm, and buy step up rings to adapt your lenses to the filter, so you don't have to buy different filter sizes for every lenses you own.

Flexible camera tripod

A small tripod useful for vlogging and to put your camera in some place while you do some action, also useful to make some shot near the ground by grabbing the tripod as a pendulum and leave the camera sliding near the ground.

Camera stabilizer

You can find mainly two type of stabilizer, gimbal and handheld, the former is still quite expensive, and need a battery to work, the handheld is cheaper and doesn't require any battery, I suggest to buy a good handheld stabilizer to save some money also is a good investment, you will be able to use it in many circumstances and you don't have to worry about charging it. But if you have lots of money to spend than go for the most expensive gimbal stabilizer.

Lights

Lights are necessary if you plan on making video at home or in your office, lights with variable color temperature are recommended, a small light, portable, to use in low light situation can improve a lot the quality, if the environment is too dark, the image quality will degrade really fast and you are forced to rise the ISO or use a lens with large aperture, instead using some artificial light can help keeping low ISO and low noise.

Drone

Owning a drone open many opportunities, you can bring your film to the next level, but be aware that is not a simple task to use it in film making, also in many places drones are not allowed and you risk to be fined or worst to put in danger other people, if you don't follow the rules.

My pretty face

Emanuele Disco

SW engineer, film maker

Full time front and back end developer, I play mostly with Java, Javascript, HTML, Python and C#, I love programming, playing pc game, doing astronomy, studying and many other stuff and I do video as well…

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